Skip to content

Reflections: World Humanitarian Day

Spread the love

“The moral authority of the United Nations depends on its ability to help people most in need and it must do so with the highest ethical standards and professionalism.” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Council of Foreign Relations, New York, May 2006

Reflections: World Humanitarian Day, August 19th

Reflections: World Humanitarian Day, August 19th – Honor Each Other

World Humanitarian Day 2014 Message

Today is World Humanitarian Day and it is particularly poignant because another brave soul, James Wright Foley, a photojournalist who dedicated his life to bringing photos and news to the rest of us from war torn zones, was brutally executed today. My condolences go out to his loved ones… RIP James. Where is our humanity? What must we do to find common ground and respect for each other on this planet?  Are you familiar with this important day? Do you know what it is all about? I’ll shed some light and, hopefully, you will join me and many other Messengers Of Humanity to remind us all to give compassion, care and consideration a chance in our interactions with each other; it is imperative for the survival of our planet.

“Since I am still strong enough to produce and work harder to support others, I think I have to use my energy for that until I get old.” Jack Kahorha (Aid Worker)

Reflections: World Humanitarian Day, August 19th - Help Each Other

Reflections: World Humanitarian Day, August 19th – Help Each Other

World Humanitarian Day 2014 trailer: Voices from the Field

What Is World Humanitarian Day? “It’s a day to commemorate all people who have lost their lives in humanitarian service and to celebrate the spirit that inspires humanitarian work around the world.”

World Humanitarian Day came about because of another inhumane attack that occurred on 19 August, 2003. On that terrible day, 22 aid workers were killed in a bomb attack at the UN headquarters in Baghdad. So many families lost loved ones that day and, sadly, many more aid workers have perished in conflict ridden countries across the globe. We honor them all for bravely serving others under perilous conditions. Today, and on every August 19th, we pause …” to commemorate all people who have lost their lives in humanitarian service and to celebrate the spirit that inspires humanitarian work around the world.”

This year, several aid workers/humanitarian heroes are being honored for their tireless service. In addition to our journalists, servicemen/women, aid workers and a long list of others, I will add healthcare workers and Doctors Without Borders. Why? Because they often go against the natural human inclination to flee life threatening diseases and conditions to serve others in need. Who would you add to this list?  What does being a humanitarian mean to you?

More Below!

“The most rewarding part of my work is knowing that, out of the many stories I share, even if it’s the story of just one child, it represents the story of many.” Lucy Amatikide Murunga (Aid Worker)

Reflections: World Humanitarian Day, August 19th - Hear Each Other

Reflections: World Humanitarian Day, August 19th – Hear Each Other

There are many ways we can help each other, teach, share, as well as support efforts to spread the Humanitarian Day message globally. We can become Messengers Of Humanity by lending our voices to spread the word in our communities. We can donate time and/or money, and uphold the Four Humanitarian Principles that guide all who devote their energies to this work: the four principles are built on the basic premise that all life is sacred, (explained above), they are Humanity, Neutrality, Impartiality, and Operational independence.

The graphic above explains each principle and how all four can be incorporated into our daily lives and actions. For a bit of history on the genesis of these principles at the United Nations, here is an excerpt: “The first three principles are endorsed in General Assembly Resolution 46/182, which was passed in 1991. This is also the resolution that established the role of the Emergency Relief Coordinator (ERC). The fourth principle was added in 2004 under Resolution 58/114.”  If we stop to consider the wisdom of these principles, we’d gain more insight on how critical PEACE is to our survival too. Join the effort today!

For More: Women’s Lives & Issues 

Positive Motivation Tip:  Reach for the humanitarian in you, it can save lives.

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All Photos from  WorldHumanitarianDay.Org

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet

75 Comments leave one →
  1. 19/08/2014 9:20 pm

    nice post i like this…….

  2. 19/08/2014 10:54 pm

    Terrible news about James Foley, this has to stop.

  3. 19/08/2014 11:17 pm

    Reblogged this on auntyuta and commented:
    I think this a very informative post by Elizabeth Obih-Frank for World Humanitarian Day.

  4. 20/08/2014 4:04 am

    It really cheers me when I see a post from you because they are so grounded and real. I read about that journalist with horror. I don’t know if you’ve seen my posts on the Middle East but the world needs to hear the voice of its conscience more than ever at the moment, and you are one of the people who give it voice

  5. Vanessa Ally permalink
    20/08/2014 3:05 pm

    Glad to know you are a philanthropist like me and you care about the future of those in need and suffering. I am horrified by the constant war in Afghanistan and Gaza, and Ukraine… Why can’t we pull our world together instead of conquering and separating, and destroying, and killing!

    • 20/08/2014 5:19 pm

      Vanessa, this is about World Humanitarian Day! This post is about honoring the lives and deaths of brave aid workers and others who put themselves in the front lines while some of us are attending fundraisers!!? Sorry, I don’t quite understand your philanthropy comment here… 🙁

  6. 20/08/2014 3:07 pm

    Thank you for the informative post. I like that it is real, and honest. Everyone has something to give to help weather it is time, money, services, or items. It we all just helped a little it would make a huge difference.

    • 20/08/2014 5:13 pm

      Yes, war terrors, public executions, service to humanity are key to this topic …. and real. We can start in small ways, living the tenets of the four principles.

  7. lisa galuna permalink
    20/08/2014 3:42 pm

    What A Shame! James Was A Great Man. Hope Others Continue In His Footsteps!!

    • 20/08/2014 5:08 pm

      My goodness! What? The post is about all the brave souls who lost their lives serving in war zones. Hopefully, others won’t lose their lives for wanting to help people in conflict zones or for telling the full story of the atrocities of war.

  8. Kungphoo permalink
    20/08/2014 4:27 pm

    I did not know it was humanitarian day.. RIP James!

  9. 20/08/2014 5:28 pm

    Wow I did not know about the execution or the holiday today! Thank you for sharing.

  10. Tracy permalink
    20/08/2014 6:26 pm

    I didn’t know it was humanitarian day either. Great post!

  11. Mrs. Mashed Up permalink
    20/08/2014 7:53 pm

    What an important message. Thank you for sharing. I posted this article earlier on FB for my readers. I didn’t even know about the photojournalist who was killed. 🙁

    • 21/08/2014 4:15 am

      Thank you! It is tragic that his life was taken. Incidents like that are grim reminders that we live in a volatile world and that those who bravely serve humanity in perilous regions deserve our recognition and applause. This is truly about honoring those who serve in such areas around the world. We can help too but let’s honor those who have died serving first.

  12. 20/08/2014 8:07 pm

    You have been so realistic in your approach. Kudos to you for sharing this topic.

    • 21/08/2014 4:12 am

      Really? World Humanitarian Day honors those brave people who served/continue to serve around the world. It encourages us to help in any way we can; either with time, money or especially by living the 4 Humanitarian Principles. Any feedback on that?

  13. 20/08/2014 8:15 pm

    I woke up this morning to the sad news about James..disheartening! Innocent people die for lost causes!

    • 21/08/2014 4:11 am

      It was such terrible news and a reminder of all the brave people who go to war zones to help others and get the word out. World Humanitarian Day honors those brave people and encourages us to help in any way we can; either with time, money or especially by living the 4 Humanitarian Principles.

  14. Amanda Love permalink
    20/08/2014 8:45 pm

    I had no idea it was World Humanitarian Day. Thank you for sharing your post with the world.

  15. Catherine S permalink
    20/08/2014 8:53 pm

    Thank you for your post, sorry to hear about James. If everyone just helped each other the world would be a much better place.

  16. 20/08/2014 8:57 pm

    What a great way to bring awareness to what is happening in the world.

    • 21/08/2014 3:57 am

      Thank you Michelle! I appreciate your thoughtful feedback. I just wish people would take some time to read a post properly and leave comments that fit the post.

  17. Liz Mays permalink
    20/08/2014 9:36 pm

    There are so many people doing wonderful acts of service. I like that there’s a day to call attention to it.

  18. 20/08/2014 10:04 pm

    A lot of people out there need to understand humanity. Money cannot be the solution always. People must learn to care and come forward to help. A few days back I say a video where an injured girl child was lying on a busy road bleeding. The video footage from the traffic CCTV showed that several people passed by, but no one came forward. After a huge span of time, some people rescued her. Is this human behavior?

    • 21/08/2014 4:56 am

      Well said! Many people spend time yakking about giving money when the fundamental message is: How do you show you care about your fellow men/women? Where is your humanity? TY Kaustav as some of the feedback here is worrysome!

  19. AiMee permalink
    20/08/2014 10:20 pm

    Very heart touching post! If I could only reach out those in need. But I try in my own way to help people. “You cant help everyone, but helping someone is better than not helping anyone.”

    • 21/08/2014 5:12 am

      I hear you…. We can all do our bit by starting in our own communities. Every neighborhood has families that are struggling. Being mindful of how we interact in the world is important.

  20. Fernando permalink
    20/08/2014 10:41 pm

    Hope that it’ll increase in population those people who serve in a humanitarian mission. God bless them all. Fernando Lachica

  21. 20/08/2014 10:43 pm

    An eye opener of sort to those who have the capabilities to serve those who are in need. The volunteers are the ‘Super heroes’ of today’s generation.

    • 21/08/2014 3:39 am

      They are not all volunteers. Some are paid personnel; doctors, aid workers, journalists, servicemen and women who take on the additional risk of serving in dangerous locations, usually war zones around the world.

  22. John Kenneth Acibedo permalink
    20/08/2014 11:09 pm

    Motivated me to help those who are in need!

  23. franck permalink
    20/08/2014 11:44 pm

    It’s nice to know that we have a humanity day. This should help us become aware on the abuses going on all over the world.

  24. Sharon permalink
    20/08/2014 11:49 pm

    Huh, I never knew humanitarian day was the same day as my wedding anniversary. It is tragic out there, but when I look at human history I can’t help but believe that there will never be world, wide peace. And that is so sad…

    • 21/08/2014 3:07 am

      It is sad that the peace process is often set aside and replaced by violent acts of war. We mustn’t give up our hope and belief that we, as a global community, can do better. TY!

  25. 21/08/2014 12:26 am

    This reminds me of the factions Abnegation in Divergence the movie. Yup, it’s great to always think and take care of others.

    • 21/08/2014 3:04 am

      This is not a movie, this is real life! Every day, in countries around the world, volunteers, trained personnel, aid workers, doctors, service men and women risk their lives to help others get to safety, heal, or reconnect with loved ones. Please be sensitive to the subject matter. It’s about honoring those who take risks in dangerous conditions. Your cavalier comment disturbs me.

  26. 21/08/2014 4:09 am

    Good to know about the humanitarian..thanks for letting me know it..

  27. bonniegowen permalink
    21/08/2014 6:11 am

    So much bad is going on in the world. It’s really a shame. =(

  28. 21/08/2014 7:36 am

    I think it’s nice when people get recognized for putting themselves out there. It’s wonderful when people reach out beyond themselves.

  29. 21/08/2014 8:13 am

    Lovely post. It’s very informative. Terribly sad about James Foley

    • 21/08/2014 8:20 am

      Yes. My heart goes out to his family and all the families that have lost someone under such tragic circumstances… He was a journalist, documenting the stories of people caught in war zones. He didn’t want the world to forget them… We shouldn’t forget him.

  30. 21/08/2014 9:05 am

    I read about the news of James Wright Foley, the photojournalist just today on my local newspaper and was horrified how the militants threatened President Obama. It was a difficult and painful decision. World Humanitarian Day commemorating these sacrifices might be useful for the public, but it will never erased the pains of their family. But it’s the only thing outsiders can do- to make sure their sacrifice are not for naught…

    • 21/08/2014 9:17 am

      I’m still reeling from the shock of the senseless murder… Sure, honoring their memories can’t erase the pain and deep grief that must linger in the hearts of family members, but it is an important symbolic gesture. It reminds us all to never forget them and to do our bit for the sake of humanity… Like you said, “it’s the only thing outsiders can do – to make sure their sacrifice are not for naught…” So True. It’s one of several things we can all do! Thanks Tiffany!

  31. 21/08/2014 4:02 pm

    I wonder what world the sweet baby in the first picture will grow up in. Hopefully bringing awareness will help stop the horror.

  32. Tiffany Hathorn permalink
    21/08/2014 4:07 pm

    Such a great way to celebrate the goodness that people are capable of. We are faced with the opposite of it so often that it is easy to forget that there is still something redeemable about humanity.

    • 23/08/2014 2:19 am

      Exactly … and I must remember that too. There is good in this world. Actually, it is the good that sustains us all.

  33. 21/08/2014 5:43 pm

    The brutal execution of James Wright Foley is a blight on human kind, one that can not be erased. It is sickening to think that a person with good intentions; to share what is happening in other countries, can so easily be killed. Humanity is in need of a more than a day to salvage itself. We need a lifetime sadly…

    • 23/08/2014 2:17 am

      Yes we do need a lifetime of compassionate effort. In the meantime, we can make a difference by speaking out. I don’t want the lives of all those folks who served, including James, to be in vain.

  34. Ann Bacciaglia permalink
    21/08/2014 7:09 pm

    This is a great post. We need to raise awareness about these isues. Thanks for a informative post.

  35. Elizabeth Copeland permalink
    21/08/2014 7:55 pm

    I often find the immensity of the world’s problem overwhelming. I am always in awe of the courage and bravery of those who stepped up and gave their all, losing their lives trying to serve those who are in great need. We can all do our parts though, no matter how small, in their honor.

    • 23/08/2014 2:21 am

      I’m with you on this Elizabeth. I find it overwhelming too and try to make sense of it by writing. It is admirable that people put themselves on the front lines for the sake of humanity. I applaud them.

  36. 22/08/2014 9:20 am

    This is my first time knowing about humanitarian day. thanks for this post.

  37. 22/08/2014 4:06 pm

    Aid workers are the real heroes in this world. I admire their selfless and unconditional passion to help others regardless of the risks. Praying for every family who lost a loved one while doing their humanitarian work.

    • 23/08/2014 2:15 am

      TY Karen! I’m with you on admiring their selflessness and passion for helping others. Amen to their loved ones.

  38. 24/08/2014 11:25 pm

    This day should be much more widely known

  39. Chene Atkins- Whittington permalink
    25/08/2014 10:59 am

    Thanks for sharing this– I didn’t know there was a day for this!


  1. Reflections: World Humanitarian Day via Mirth and Motivation … | THE STRATEGIC LEARNER

Your Comment is Appreciated!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.